Time to Unpack
Riding in to work this morning I realized I had forgotten the novel I've been reading for the past few days at home. The only book I had with me was the Bible. I have to admit that it's been a few days since I've read it and I was not sure where to begin. However, when I opened it, Jeremiah 29 immediately caught my eye. Instead for skipping straight to verse 11 (for I know the plans I have for you...), I read the whole thing. I was surprised to learn Jeremiah 29 is actually a letter that God had Jeremiah write to the Hebrews who were being held captive in Babylon. In it God lets His people know that they were going to be in Babylon for a while, so they should build houses, plant gardens, have children and give their children in marriage. This way they wouldn't be diminshed but rather they would continue to increase even in their time in Babylon. It wasn't as much about 'settling' in Babylon as it was about them not putting their lives on hold while they were in captivity.
One of the things I really love about the Bible, that makes it different from any other book out there, is the fact that it's always fresh and new and alive. There's always something new even in familiar, well read passages. Today was no exeption... Almost instantly I saw the application to my own life. I started thinking about how I've felt like I was living out of boxes for the past 3 or 4 years. Longer than that if I really think about it. From the time I was 10 years old, my dad's vocation had us moving every 4-6 years. That's why it's so hard for me to answer the question, "So where are you from?" It was hard changing schools and making new friendships only to pick up and leave just when I was getting settled. I am always amazed at people who were born and raised and still live in one place.
Don't get me wrong. On one hand it was a great experience seeing new places, meeting new people, learning to adapt to where ever I was. It has served me well as an adult, like when I moved to Harrisburg, PA out of the blue 8 years ago. The only drawback has been feeling forever in limbo - the whole living outof boxes thing... I've hesitated to really "settle in" anywhere because I never knew when I'll be moving again. So I unpack just enough to make it through for however long I'll be at my present place. As a result, I unknowingly put a lot of things on hold - relationships, purchasing a home, career goals, continuing my education - all in anticipation of the next move. That's no way to live, in fact, that's not living it's existing.
So here I am, back in Maryland. I came home in October of 2007 and I still have boxes that I have not unpacked. I'm not a neat freak by any stretch of the imagination, but I am used to a place for everything and everything in it's place so still having boxes packed was stressing me a little bit. On top of that, there are so many new things, good things happening in my life right now and without realizing it I've been holding my breath so to speak, not wanting to unpack all the "boxes" because 'what if I move again?'...
Today's scripture was my permission to unpack, exhale, find my place where I am now and live the life I was created to live! Sure, I could move again tomorrow, but it will not keep me from getting the most out of where I am today anymore. So, I'm going home tonight to upack the rest of my things and get to living!